Saturday, 18 July 2020

Same old same old!

Once again another 3 weeks has passed us by and there has been no news from the Hill household! But with messages of "where are you?" and "are you okay" I thought perhaps I had better sign in! I almost forgot how to do a post with the new platform that blogger created but here we are. I am afraid the news is really the "same old, same old" so turn off now if you are looking for something titivating, especially if you are seeking some new creativity or knowledge about anything Morris related! I actually wrote 'titillating' first but changed it to 'titivating' as the definition that came up for the former was described as "arousing someone's imagination, especially in a sexual way"....oops!!  So with my absence life has clearly been busy with all sorts of the usual 'stuff' including walks along the river from time to time. We had good rainfall a couple of weeks ago so it is nice to see the wetlands full again filled with birdlife that miraculously return each season........




Life is still unpredictable with the fear of a second wave of Covid19 and some of our neighbours in Victoria are on a second lockdown with a recent surge in cases. But for us life is as normal as can be so looking after Wade continues. He was pretty happy to have another haircut as he now knows the reward from the barber is a lollypop........

With the current school holidays Wade spent some time with Beau and Maisie so that is always lovely as they share the task! Miss Maisie turned six yesterday and was clearly excited with her newest obsession of  Kindi Kids.....


Maisie and Beau also joined us last weekend for a sleepover and a visit from Auntie Sophie and little Wade resulted in a new hairdo for Maisie.....glad I could hand that task over to Sophie!........
Our carport is now stacked with the completed patterns for the "Bee Mindful" quilt so Larry and I have been putting in a few hours a day packaging them all. I was asked to print 650 patterns and when you break that down with the month by month sets it means packing 9,100 separate sleeves! There has been a hold up with the fabric production so that has given us some added time........


The ever generous Tim from Lloyd Curzon Textiles spoilt me some weeks back with two brand new wool pressing mats produced by Maywood Studios and they have really im'pressed' me! Who would think that a thick wool base would set the seams better than my ironing board with the added bonus of being able to set it up beside the machine. I also noticed the fabrics don't slip like they do on my ironing board and you can poke pins in it too. In fact someone sent me a message to say she uses a small one on her lap when doing any handwork...handy for poking needles in too. So these mats have my big tick of approval.........thankyou Tim.........
We helped some friends move house a couple of weeks ago on a miserable cold and wet day. It was quite a chore especially for the lady of the house Kay who had broken her ankle only two weeks earlier so she was quite incapacitated. Only two removal chaps turned up instead of four and there was difficulty with property access that involving chopping down trees, so what should have been a smooth 7-8 hour day turned into a chaotic 12 hour day finishing in the dark. We were very touched to receive some thankyou flowers for our help that day and the blooms have been lovely.....thankyou Simon and Kay xx.....
and some more thankyou flowers I received from the friend who I've been helping with the Mary MacKillop  dolls.......
Last week we had some very unusual fog that is quiet rare where we live. I wonder what the wildlife thought about it all.......

It was quite eerie not being able to see the end of the street......

Large expressway signs were obscured.....
But then the sun came out on the other side of the river where we saw this gorgeous wattle blooming.......


Last year I was asked if I could deliver a William Morris lecture to a very exclusive club in Adelaide. Well it has proved so popular I have to deliver three lectures over the next couple of weeks! A friend said she looked forward to reading all about it on the blog but I thought perhaps it wasn't appropriate. But I enjoyed it all despite being very nervous and a little overwhelmed! My first lecture is done and as a thankyou I received the most delicious biscuits - both sweet and savoury so I might share more of that story another time........

My charity quilt production line has slowed down now but Faye did send me a photo of another bright one I had completed.....
But I have been at the drawing board designing two brand new projects (one is a very large quilt!), that I will share later. I have also been busy pressing and cutting up bags of donated fabric that have come from quilter's unwanted stashes! This time I have specific cutting instructions from our intrepid leader Lessa and all the yellows have to be cut into two and a half inch squares so I am intrigued by that! The fabrics eventually become quilt kits that quilters can purchase with all funds being donated to charity.....
During recent weeks I received some lovely photos....these below from Gwen of her row by row William and May Morris quilt. It looks gorgeous and I love the crosshatching in the quilting. Thankyou so much Gwen - you must be thrilled.......
And Valerie sent me this image a while back of her version of Morris. Very clever as Valerie has used different blocks from several different quilts in my William Morris Appliqué books  She wasn't able to get a really good image but from what I can see it must be stunning in real life. Thankyou Valerie and I am glad you enjoyed making it.......
So my final "same old same old" is in relation to the "Bee Mindful" quilt raffle. I have been a little disheartened and it has all become way too hard to organise a raffle where tickets can be sold across Australia and further. Each state in our own country has different rules as apparently a raffle is deemed gambling! The red tape and paperwork that has to be completed is all beyond me so if anyone has any ideas I would be most grateful! We want funds to go the the Bee Keepers of Kangaroo Island to assist with the devastating loss from the bushfires early this year. I thought about setting up a go fund me page where I could gather names from every donation and then create a winner by putting names in a hat. But I think it might be illegal for me to do it that way. So maybe a silent auction might work?.....please share your ideas with me! Till next time - take care and stay safe x 

Friday, 26 June 2020

Please put on the brake!

More than once on this blog I have wailed about the speed of life...but please can it just slow down for a moment?  It is nearly 3 weeks since I posted and yet it feels like only one, so how and why can that be? I started exploring the reasons that so many of us (as we age), share the view that life is travelling faster than when we were younger. I found lots of interesting articles online and enjoyed reading this one from The Conversation. The author is a lecturer in mathematical biology (Wow!) and it intrigues me that perhaps time goes more slowly for a child because they are learning and doing so much more as they develop. Well I think I am still learning and doing what I thought was more than enough so I am not so sure about that theory! Then another perception is that while we are slowing down as we age that the things around us are all too familiar so life goes faster??!! I can't quite get my head around how that would make time go slower and not faster....so please just put the brake on! This little man certainly makes the time fly and his development and vocabulary expands each week.......

Maisie will be six in a couple of weeks and I have no idea where those six years have flown, seen here in another cubby at our place that she just had to decorate......

We took Wade to the Maritime Museum last week where there was a stand alone exhibition celebrating 50 years of the ABC's Play School......it only seems like yesterday that we watching Big Ted and Little Ted with our almost 40 year old daughters. Wade loved it all and because of Covid restrictions we had the entire museum to ourselves (apart from some following us sanitising every spot that she possibly could).......



The seasons seem to come and go more quickly as well and this weekend it will be time to prune the roses......I wonder if the snails think time is travelling faster too......I'm not so sure! And I am not sure what the attraction to the air-conditioning unit was either.......


Of course an awful lot of stitching has been going on in my little space with lots more quilts completed for those in need........
This unfinished quilt top was donated to the group so I completed it with birds and I also decided to turn it on its side. This design comes from Natalie Bonner and Kathleen Whiting seen here with their original version..........
and my version now turned on its side and beautifully quilted by Faye and ready for our charity pile........
And another quick quilt which again looks fabulous with Faye's quilting and for another deserving recipient..........
Just yesterday I completed two more very bright and "out there" quilt tops and I hope they will bring joy to someone.........
My mystery quilt project from Rachelle Denneny is now finished and I was able to make two quilts by stitching two extra blocks, so they can be added to the charity pile as well after Faye has done her quilting magic.........

It was wonderful how turning some blocks resulted in a subtle difference in the diamonds for one of the quilts.......
These past couple of weeks I even found myself designing outfits for nun dolls for a friend! She is involved with the Mary MacKillop Museum and it has been a journey of discovery for me learning more about Sister Mary. She was born in 1842 and died in 1909 and she is Australia's only Catholic canonised saint....who also happened to receive financial support from the Barr Smith family here in Adelaide (who were responsible for a lot of our Morris collection). My draft pattern in calico fitted one of Maisie's dolls but eventually they will be dressed on small cloth dolls to sell in the museum. We now have the correct brown fabric and have appliquéd the tiny blue MM emblem on the front of 17 outfits.....
During the week I also received a photo of this beautiful version of the "Kelmscott" quilt from my first 'William Morris in Appliqué' book. This was stitched by Chris and she must be so thrilled with it......I know how long all that appliqué takes and it looks stunning. Thankyou Chris for sending me the photo (and thanks Hilda for telling her to!).........
And I can't forget the birthday boy who turned 66 on June 15th! He is now officially a pensioner here in Australia!...... 
So I will conclude with the hope that Covid is under control wherever you are. We have been so lucky here in Australia as our borders have been closed since March 24th to both inbound and outbound passengers. We have had worrying news that one of our major airlines is in difficulty with thousands of job losses and just last night on the news it was mentioned that there will no international flights out of our country for the rest of the year and perhaps for even 12 more months.....that scares us as our tours in the UK have already been postponed and rescheduled in 15 months. Things will have to change I think for people to feel safe travelling overseas......I for one will feel safer when a vaccine is available. So stay safe and take good care x